Q: What is a Sports Car?

December 17, 2013 12:53 PM

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The classic definition of a sports car is a small vehicle with two doors that is made for no other purpose than quick performance and masterful handling. The truth, however, is that there are as many different definitions for "sports car" as there are sports car drivers.

A sports car can be an everyday car or a racing vehicle. Although a 6-cylinder engine or 12-cylinder engine -- or even an 4-cylinder -- can be used, you want to buy a sports car with a V8 engine if you want a lot of power and torque when you accelerate. This kind of engine has eight cylinders in the crankcase and often smoother than a V6 engine -- and the exhaust note is often sweeter. A V8 is significantly cheaper to buy than a V12 engine as well. US car brands, such as Ford and Chevrolet, offer V8 engines in many of their sports cars that allow drivers to feel the power of a racecar during their everyday commute.

When you look at a sports car, you also want to consider the suspension. A car suspension is made up of springs, shock absorbers, and other parts that connect the wheels to the vehicle. The suspension system is in place for a few reasons. One is for the additional help with handling and braking vibrations. Another reason is to reduce the noise in the cabin by allowing for a smoother ride on any road surface. The suspension also helps protect the vehicle and its cargo from damage and wear caused by bad, rough roads.

The clutch is another vital component if your sports car has a manual transmission instead of an automatic. The clutch transfers power between the engine and transmission. When the clutch pedal is depressed in your sports car, the clutch mechanism disengages the engine power from the transmission, allowing you to cleanly shift gears and then progressively re-connect the engine to the transmission. Engaging the clutch too abruptly can cause jerking and harsh starts, and may cause you to stall you car.

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